08 April 2013
Looking for somebody to listen
The other day a friend messaged me to see if I was free. I was, so straight from work I drove to her place. We walked over to a coffee shop, ordered, and I sat down, waiting for her to grab her drink.
The man sitting in the next table, an older gentleman, started chatting to me. Before I'd sat down, I'd noticed his stuff, his possessions, sitting beside him. I saw his scruffy hair, dirty hands, and numerous days old clothing.
So I sat, and he started chatting. And chatting. My friend say down, and he kept chatting. He talked and talked.
I couldn't really understand him. The combination of music playing, coffee shop chatter, his accent, his mumble, and my genuine tired body led me to not really hear him.
I sat praying, trying to hear, trying to figure out how I could be Jesus to him. He talked to, emphasis on to as his words rarely included our input, us for about half an hour. Then we left and went elsewhere so we could chat.
And it left me unsettled, because I don't know if I loved him well. I'm not seeking validation in writing this because my validation comes from Christ - but as he talked, my mind ran around. I tried to focus, and thought about the verse about entertaining angels, and the verse about loving the least of these.
And I just don't know if I loved him enough. My friend and I laughed as we walked through the grocery store after, realizing that we both hadn't understood many of his words.
He made no sense.
It made no sense.
My words don't have a solution.
I'm a firm believer that most people are looking for somebody to listen to their story, so according to that I did okay - but not great. We gave him space to talk, and maybe that is all he needed.
But is that enough? I offered to buy him food and he said no, but asked if I knew where he could get a bed for the night. I didn't so was of no help to him.
I just don't know if a listening ear was enough.